LA VERNE, Calif. - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps softball team won both games in the first day of the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Postseason Tournament in decisive fashion beating Redlands 9-1 and La Verne 10-1 (both in five innings). Staying in the top half of the bracket, CMS advances to the championship game tomorrow, May 7 at 1:30 p.m. Senior Carlene Roberts (CMC) had the best day of her career with three home runs and five RBI over both games.
In the first game vs. the University of Redlands, the Athenas went down 1-0 after the top of the first inning but then took the lead in the bottom of the second. Sophomore designated player Briana Halle (CMC) got the first hit of the day for CMS with a single to right field. One out later, freshman Abigail Metsch (SCR) smacked her third homer of the year to put the Athenas on the board and leading 2-1.
Redlands bounced right back to load the bases in the top of the subsequent inning with two hits and a walk. CMS starter sophomore Anna Gurr (CMC) induced a fly ball to Shannon O'Neill (CMC) in right to keep the Bulldogs from crossing the plate.
CMS continued with the pressure as freshman Victoria Huynh (CMC) got on from a throwing error in the bottom of the third. She was quickly scored by senior Katie Savard (CMC). Halle got her second hit of the day with a double and scored two more. Redlands' Lauren Henson came into the circle to relieve Lindsey Mifsud, only for Roberts to launch the second home run of the game high over the left field fence.
The Athena defense held UR scoreless for the rest of the game and hitless for the final two innings.
CMS got an eight run lead in the bottom of the fourth on Roleder's one-out double plating Robinson and Savard. In the top of the fifth, CMS held Redlands with two pop ups and a ground out to end the game in five innings.
The Athenas' second game was delayed slightly by rain and then a wild end to the Redlands vs. Whittier game in which the Poets won on a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the seventh.
As expected, the Athenas faced the SCIAC Athlete of the Year, Katherine Kibbe for the Leos. CMS was the home team once again and went with Gurr in the circle.
The Athenas' defense did not miss a beat as freshman second baseman Reeve Grobecker (CMC) started the top of the first off with a sliding catch in foul territory behind first base.
CMS put the first run of the game on the board with Roberts' second blast of the day in the bottom of the second. Coming into the day, she had just six homers in her four-year career including two this season.
Unsatisfied with the 1-0 lead, Grobecker got on with a single and then scored on a double down the left field line by Huynh.
La Verne answered with a home run of their own as Carly Condon's deep fly just evaded senior Tara Robinson's (CMC) glove over the center field fence.
CMS broke the game open in the bottom of the third with four runs on four hits. Savard and Roleder hit back-to-back extra base hits and were driven in by Halle, forcing ULV to change pitchers. Roberts proceeded to hit her third and undoubtedly farthest homer of the day off the third pitcher she had faced.
The dense part of La Verne's lineup faced Gurr in the top of the fourth inning. Alexis Schiff recorded her second hit of the game but the Leos ended up stranding a runner in scoring position with a line-out to Savard at first ended the inning.
Small ball got the Athenas going in the bottom of the frame as Huynh led off with a bunt single and then Robinson touched all four bases after another bunt but then errant throw into right field foul territory. Four singles and a walk later, CMS had a 10-1 lead going into the top of the fifth.
Gurr retired three of the four batters in the inning to preserve the nine run lead and secure her 20th win on the season.
With the loss, La Verne faces Whittier at 11 a.m. in an elimination game and then the winner advances to face CMS at 1:30 p.m. for the tournament championship.
On the day, Roberts was 4-for-5 with five RBI, Metsch earned four RBI, Roleder had three RBI and Savard recorded three hits and three runs scored.
This will be the sixth year in a row that the Athenas have been in the SCIAC Postseason Tournament championship game.
By Emily Nordhoff
Sports Information Director
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